Toad Lane Rochdale – A Pen Drawing by Doodlher

“A brick-by-brick pen drawing of this historic Rochdale street”

Toad Lane is probably one of my favourite areas of Rochdale. It’s historical, it’s pretty, and it’s home to a fantastic pub. This won’t be the first time I’ve doodled Toad Lane. It featured as one of my first digital Rochdale doodles and also took centre focus in two of my handmade Christmas card designs. Despite this, I decided to draw the area again, but this time in more detail.

I allocated a double page spread in my trusty Moleskine sketchbook for the design. Pretty daring in my books as it meant I’d have to draw over the spine which was a new approach altogether.

I started by drawing 31 Toad Lane, which is now home to the Pioneer’s Museum. (If you’re not familiar with Rochdale history, it was inside this very building that the Cooperative movement was founded in 1844. What started as a small local society soon became the blueprint for cooperatives all over the world, and itself grew into the Co-Op as we know it today. Pretty impressive.)

My Toad Lane doodle is also available as a postcard.

I sketched the Pioneer’s Museum brick-by-brick until I eventually reached the first bay window of The Baum pub. If you’ve ever walked past, you’ll know that this window is inhabited by quite a spooky-looking fella. Named Garrett, he’s the mascot for Rochdale Ghost Walks, and he features in the doodle alongside the large doll house that also decorates this window display.

By the time I’d doodled up to the front door of The Baum, I knew the end was in sight. I was a bit worried that I might not have been able to squeeze in the gas lamp that illuminates the top corner of the building, but it turned out that I had plenty of room. Phew!

As soon as the pen sketch was complete, I photographed and uploaded the drawing onto my computer so I could begin the process of removing the sketchbook spine and start playing with backgrounds. I love mixing my pen drawings with digital colour. It’s a complete contrast of traditional and modern art mediums and I really enjoy the effect it creates.


“Choose between black & white, yellow, and oatmeal”


Toad Lane will be my first print to ever be available to buy in this style. The more ‘traditional’ Doodlher black and white option will still be available, but if you fancy adding some POP to your wall, I highly recommend choosing one of the two colours.

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One last thing…

The arts is one of the most undervalued industries. Visual arts, music, dance, theatre, you know the list… We all consume it, but we all need it. It’s the good stuff that keeps us on top of our positive mental wellbeing. By reading this story about my doodle you are supporting the arts. So thank you for taking the time out of your day to give my thing an ounce of your attention.

If you’d like to buy a print and you can buy a print, thank you, each sale helps ensure my pens are topped up with ink and obviously helps pay my bills and all that jazz 🙂

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